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‘Queens’ star Naturi Naughton exposes ‘shady’ music biz: ‘That trauma is there’

Art is imitating life for Naturi Naughton.

The 37-year-old actress received her begin within the limelight as one-third of the R&B pop group 3LW on the tender age of 15. Alongside Adrienne Bailon Houghton (present co-host on the talkshow “The Real”) and Kiely Williams, the trio dropped myriad hits — together with “Playas Gon’ Play,” “No More (Baby Ima Do Right)” and “Feelin’ You,” that includes juggernaut producer-rapper Jermaine Dupri.

“The music business can be shady — and my experience as a teenager was not good,” she informed The Post whereas hyping “Queens,” her new hit ABC present in regards to the reunion of a ’90s woman group. “That pain, that hurt — that trauma is still there.”

Following the tumultuous break up of 3LW in 2007, Naughton put the drama behind her and within the years that adopted centered on pumping it into the large display by taking part in Grammy-nominated rapper Lil Kim in “Notorious,” the 2008 biopic of Biggie “The Notorious B.I.G.” Smalls, and a six-year run because the spouse of a gangster drug lord in the Starz drama “Power” reverse Omari Hardwick.

Now, after over 20 years within the enterprise, Naughton’s profession has come full circle. Currently the Decatur, Georgia, native stars in “Queens” as Jill aka “Da Thrill,” an unique member of a lady group named the Nasty Bitches, shaped together with her highschool associates. Sound acquainted? After years aside, the band reunites of their 40s to claim their swagger and reclaim their fame.


Playing Naughton’s bandmates within the new drama from govt producer Zahir McGhee (“Scandal”) are rapper Eve (Brianna aka Professor Sex), Grammy-winning R&B songstress Brandy Norwood (Naomi aka Xplicit Lyrics) and Nadine Velazquez (Valeria aka Butter Pecan).

Naughton sat down with The Post to set the file straight on awakening the “nasty bitch” inside and reckoning together with her traumatic previous within the “shady” music business.

Naughton has walked via hearth in her profession, however taking the warmth has ignited her ardour for fulfillment much more. After scene-stealing visitor spots on “Mad Men” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and supporting roles in disappointing movies just like the 2009 “Fame” reboot, she’s lastly starring in her personal hit collection.
ABC/Gavin Bond

“The industry can be vicious. Social media can be vicious. People are not always happy for you, girl.”

What is the significance of being one in every of 4 girls of coloration main a present on primetime tv?

It feels thrilling to be on community tv. ABC [has] all the time been a progressive community who reveals range in a extremely thrilling methods. I actually was obsessive about ‘Scandal,’ and Kerry Washington is a pal of mine. I look as much as her and Viola [Davis]. I believe tv is evolving in a means the place girls have voices and girls of coloration are placed on a platform to precise these voices.


What has been the most effective a part of working along with your co-stars?

Honestly, the friendships, the sisterhood. I grew up with an older brother. I didn’t have any sisters rising up. And these girls really feel just like the sisters that I all the time wished. We discuss all the pieces, we Kiki. You don’t typically get to do a present the place you wish to speak to them after you wrap. And that brings me pleasure as a result of it doesn’t occur that means on a regular basis.

The first single launched for ‘Queens’ is referred to as ‘Nasty Girls.’ How did you unleash your interior nasty woman to prepare for this position?

Oh she was already inside ready to come back. Obviously I’ve performed some nasty characters, a.ok.a. Little Kim. She’s a nasty woman all day, daily. But I wished Jill to really feel hardcore, however she’s additionally very theatrical. She’s thrilling. You by no means know if she’s going to do one thing loopy on her knees. We shot that video in Florida on a yacht. It was 100 levels. It was onerous work, however it was a lot enjoyable for me as an artist. Going again to a few of these themes from the 90s and the 2000s, I used to be transported again into my very own life.

“I simply attempt to be trustworthy with myself and say, ‘Oh, wow, that pain, that hurt, that trauma is still there.’ “

Naughton, on her expertise as a part of the ’90s woman group 3LW


As the one member of the forged as soon as in a lady group, has this present impressed you to reunite with 3LW or focus by yourself music profession?

I’d focus alone music profession. It’s no shade, I’ve simply grown a lot from my teenage years. But I take advantage of my actual experiences to assist inform my character Jill. I positively really feel like my expertise with 3LW had some ups and downs. It wasn’t the most effective state of affairs for me, so I don’t assume I’d be impressed to go backwards. However, I’m impressed to faucet into a few of these experiences and bear in mind how I received via them. The music enterprise might be shady and my expertise as a young person was not good. So I simply attempt to be trustworthy with myself and say, ‘Oh, wow, that pain, that hurt, that trauma is still there.’ Now I would like to simply dig deep and use it for Jill and “Queens.” I’m grateful that I had my expertise. It helped me to be a greater actress.

Has “Queens” impressed you to launch music as Naturi?

That’s really one thing I’m engaged on. Before “Queens” I used to be within the studio working with an superior producer recording a solo undertaking. I’ve some actually wonderful songs I’m excited to convey to the world. I get an opportunity to reintroduce that aspect of myself to an viewers that won’t even do not forget that I used to be a singer first as a result of I’ve primarily centered on my appearing profession. The final time folks actually noticed me on this house was virtually 20 years in the past.

Your character is residing a double life. She’s married to a person, however in love with a girl. How do you assume your character will resonate with the LGBTQ neighborhood?

I hope that folks actually hook up with this as a result of we are attempting to indicate the reality, however in a non-stereotypical means. Jill is positively residing a double life, and she or he’s positively struggling to determine which aspect of the coin she needs to be on. But as soon as she does determine, I hope that empowers so many individuals from the LGBTQ neighborhood in order that they really feel like, ‘Maybe this is my moment to be true, to be honest [and] to be real with myself, whatever that may be.’ This character is so advanced that I hope it evokes folks to say, don’t put me in a field and don’t make my sexuality outline me as an entire. Hopefully that evokes many individuals.

These 4 girls are bringing the warmth on ABC’s “Queens.” (L-R) Naturi Naughton as Jill aka Da Thrill, Eve as Brianna aka Professor Sex, Brandy as Naomi aka Xplicit Lyrics, and Nadine Velazquez as Valeria aka Butter Pecan.
ABC/Gavin Bond

“It’s a struggle being a woman in the industry, but particularly being a black woman who is not always celebrated or welcomed.”

Your character’s nickname is “Da Thrill.” What has been the largest thrill of your profession thus far?

The largest thrill of my profession was taking up the position of Lil Kim in ‘Notorious.’ My very first position was actually doing a nude scene and attempting to rap once I had by no means completed that earlier than in my life, with pastries on my nipples like, what extra do you want? I used to be so nervous once I received that half as a result of I didn’t even know if I might do it. I didn’t actually know if I believed in myself or felt attractive or assured sufficient as a result of I used to be popping out of being a younger woman. And once you transition from being a younger woman into a girl, generally it’s a bit nerve wracking. So that was a thrill. And I’d additionally say, leaving the enterprise, going to school in New Jersey and selecting to take a break from the craziness actually modified me as a result of it let me know that I’m human first. I’m a girl first.

Your first line on the pilot is “forgive me, father for I have sinned.” What do you assume is the largest sin girls make with regard to their careers?

The largest sin that all of us make is apologizing for yourselves, like shrinking, attempting to be small once you’re actually huge, attempting to decrease who you might be, to make males really feel higher if you end up that woman. I believe we have to cease apologizing for our voices, our opinions. We must make it possible for we personal our our bodies, that we personal our tales and empower different girls. But I believe that’s a giant sin. Sometimes it’s as a result of there are different girls which can be in energy that need you to shrink in order that they’re not intimidated by you up and coming. It’s a battle being a girl within the business, however significantly being I’m a black girl who is not all the time celebrated or welcomed. We ought to simply say, ‘I will stand in this room in my glory and my amazingness.’ Embrace who you might be and don’t apologize for it.

While your character, Jill decides that she needs to divorce her husband in actual life you revealed that you got engaged this previous Christmas with out revealing his id. Why was it vital so that you can hold his id a thriller?

I’m personal. I by no means received married earlier than. I’ve by no means been engaged. But I realized some worthwhile classes as a result of I grew to become a single mother fairly shortly and I needed to actually determine that new existence of being a mom on her personal. And as soon as I discovered a person who really embraced me and didn’t make me shrink or didn’t make me really feel small, I wished to guard him simply as a lot as he protects me. The business might be vicious. Social media might be vicious. People usually are not all the time comfortable for you, woman.

ABC’s “Queens” stars Naturi Naughton as Jill aka Da Thrill. (
ABC/Gavin Bond

What suggestions are you able to give us women who’re nonetheless on the lookout for the love of our life?

I used to be really in an entire prayer group praying for my husband. Real speak. You must be prepared. Lots of people say, ‘Well, I need companionship. I want a man I want love.’ But like, are you able to obtain that as a result of generally we reject goodness in our lives. Really, I simply determined I wished to be prepared.

Why ought to viewers watch your new present?

Watch “Queens” when you consider in true sisterhood between girls of coloration in a celebrated means, that’s humorous, dramatic, trustworthy, natural and pure. Please come examine the style, the hair, the make-up as a result of we’re slaying. OK! If folks wish to escape the loopy world that we dwell in proper now, I hope that they do make “Queens” primary as a result of we’re working to offer you guys our greatest.

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